OSHA ’ s Regional Emphasis Program
The following was taken from a news release recently distributed by OSHA .
The U . S . Department of Labor ’ s Occupational Safety and Health Administration New England region has investigated 31 tree worker deaths in the tree trimming and removal , landscaping , and site preparation industries since 2016 . To reduce the risks workers in these industries face , OSHA ’ s Boston regional office has established a Regional Emphasis Program that combines enforcement and outreach with employers .
“ The number of fatalities , injuries and uncontrolled hazards in the tree and landscaping industries in New England is alarming and unacceptable . These incidents are preventable with proper training and effective safety procedures ,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator Jeffrey Erskine in Boston . “ We are taking this action to raise awareness and improve worker safety in these industries . The emphasis program will focus on the industry ’ s major hazards — falls , struck-by objects , electrocution , and vehicular and traffic hazards .”
The program ’ s initial phase includes outreach to employers , workers , and stakeholder groups by each OSHA area office in New England prior to commencing enforcement activities in November 2021 . This outreach can include presentations , informational mailings , articles in trade newsletters and other activities . OSHA will then conduct programmed inspections of tree , landscape , and site preparation worksites . OSHA inspectors will also be able to open inspections on the spot if they observe hazardous conditions while traveling past worksites in the course of their duties .
OSHA encourages industry employers to take steps to identify , reduce and eliminate hazards related to tree trimming and site preparation and implement safety strategies during the REP ’ s initial phase .
Regional Emphasis Programs are enforcement strategies , designed and implemented at the regional and / or area office levels , to address hazards or industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the offices ’ jurisdictions . This REP is in effect until August 4 , 2026 .
OSHA inspections have identified occurrences such as workers falling from trees and aerial lifts , being struck by falling trees and tree limbs , electrocution or shock from contact with live electrical wires , suffering lacerations caused by saws and other equipment , sustaining injuries from vehicle collisions and being struck by or caught between mechanical equipment .
The agency urges employers to use its free On-Site Consultation Program for [ confidential ] advice on complying with OSHA standards . For more information contact OSHA at ( 508 ) 616-0461 ( option 2 ).
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10 MAA NEWS WINTER 2021